New director announced for Together We’re Better

Simon Whitehouse has been appointed as the Director for the Staffordshire Together We’re Better programme.  Simon will take up the position from the beginning of July to progress the transformation of health and social care for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent residents.

All local NHS organisations are key stakeholders, along with Staffordshire County Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Healthwatch.

Together We’re Better published its five year plan, often referred to as the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), in December of last year and is now preparing to consult on and, later, implement it. The priorities outlined in the plan are:

  • Simplified urgent and emergency care system - redesigning emergency and urgent care services to reduce avoidable A&E attendances and unplanned admissions.
  • Mental health - improving outcomes for our citizens experiencing mental health issues as well as ensuring that physical and mental health are treated equally. 
  • Focused prevention - identifying where investment in prevention will have a positive impact on the health of the population and in reducing high cost care.
  • Enhanced primary and community care – bringing together services provided by doctors (general practice), pharmacists, optometrists and dentists (collectively known as primary care) with professionals such as district nurses, therapists and community psychiatric nurses. This is to enable the frail elderly and those with long-term conditions to live independent lives and avoiding unnecessary, costly and upsetting emergency episodes.
  • Effective and efficient planned care – ensuring hospital services meet patient needs and are as efficient as possible.
  • Accelerating the delivery of productivity and efficiency plans to reduce costs. 

David Pearson, interim chair of Together We’re Better, said “I am delighted to welcome Simon, a Staffordshire resident, to this role. He has previous experience of working in our county as a clinician and comes to us with significant senior leadership experience, which will be of great benefit to our local health and care system.